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The width and value of residential streets


Millard-Ball, Adam (2021), The width and value of residential streets, Dryad, Dataset,


This dataset provides street-level information on width and the land value of street rights-of-way for 20 of the largest counties in the United States. Land values are expressed in 2019 prices. It uses OpenStreetMap and tax parcel data as inputs to a GIS-based process. Substantively, residential street rights-of-way in the urbanized portion of these counties average 55 ft wide, far greater than the functional minimum of 16 ft required for access. The land value of residential streets totals $959 billion in the urbanized portion of the 20-county sample. In most counties, subdivision regulations are binding; that is, few developers choose to build streets that are wider than code requirements, implying that softening requirements would mean more land devoted to housing and less to streets. 


Street polygons were created in GIS through filling in the voids in county assessor parcel datasets. The land value of these polygons was estimated using the census tract-level residential land value data in Davis, Larson, Oliner and Shui (2020), "The Price of Residential Land for Counties, ZIP Codes, and Census Tracts in the United States," Federal Housing Finance Agency Working Paper 19-01.

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